Nez Percé

Nez Percé

noun \ˈnez-ˈpərs, ˈnes-ˈpers, ÷ˈnā-per-ˈsā\
plural Nez Percé or Nez Per·cés \same or -ˈpər-səz, -ˈper-; ÷-per-ˈsā(z)\ or Nez Perce or Nez Per·ces \same or -ˈpər-səz, -ˈper-\

Definition of NEZ PERCÉ

:  a member of an American Indian people of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon
:  the language of the Nez Percé people

Variants of NEZ PERCÉ

Nez Percé or Nez Perce \ˈnez-ˈpərs, ˈnes-ˈpers, ÷ˈnā-per-ˈsā\

Origin of NEZ PERCÉ

French, literally, pierced nose
First Known Use: 1812

Nez Percé

   (Concise Encyclopedia)

North American Indian people living mainly in Idaho, U.S. Their language belongs to the Penutian language group, and their traditional homeland is an area centring on northeastern Oregon, southeastern Washington, and central Idaho. The name Nez Percé, applied by French Canadian trappers, means “pierced noses”; they call themselves Nimíipuu (Nee-me-poo), meaning “the real people.” Their culture was primarily that of the Plateau Indians, with some Plains Indian influence. Their domestic life centred on small villages near streams with abundant salmon; they also hunted small game and collected wild plant foods. After acquiring horses, they began to hunt bison and became more warlike, eventually becoming one of the dominant tribes in the region. Through a series of treaties in the mid-1800s, their traditional territory was severely reduced; the tragic Nez Percé War (1877), led by Chief Joseph, was the result. In the early 21st century, Nez Percé descendants numbered some 6,500 individuals.


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